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Doc Chaos: The Chernobyl Effect and The Last Laugh

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Inside a nuclear reactor, no one can hear you scream - with pleasure.

"DOC CHAOS is one of the most exciting and refreshing pieces of graphic literature I've seen in a long time." - Alan Moore.

Doc Chaos, the scientific prodigy who sold the promise of nuclear power to the most gullible, power-mad people in the world - politicians - did so not just because he likes seeing humanity "trip on its own banana skins" (Graeme Basset), but for a much darker, more erotic reason... to reach the ultimate climax.

This new edition of the ground-breaking novella by David Thorpe, author of the award-winning novel Hybrids, contains 12 illustrations by prominent stars of the comics art world: Simon Bisley ~ Brian Bolland ~ Brett Ewins ~ Duncan Fegredo ~ Rian Hughes ~ Lin Jammett ~ Pete Mastin ~ Dave McKean ~ Savage Pencil ~ Ed Pinsent ~ Bryan Talbot.

It also contains a new short story, The Last Laugh, culminating the Doc Chaos narrative at the coming apocalypse, and a new Afterword by the Author, which sets the two pieces in their creative context.

DOC CHAOS takes the literary genealogy of doctors Frankenstein, Faustroll and Benway into the nuclear age and beyond. A love story, that makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like kindergarten games...

"No one could be fully prepared for DOC CHAOS. This is a comedy of terrors." - Don Watson, NME.

"A hugely entertaining book, full of humour, satire, and an appealing, idiosyncratic perception of the way things are." - Dale Luciano, the Comics Journal.

"The creators of DOC CHAOS face up to the unbridled crap which is threatening our existence. DOC CHAOS hopes the forces of authority will slip on their own banana skins. Fast-moving and funny." - Graeme Basset, Infinity.

Price: £1.84
Available on Amazon for the Kindle at
or at
for other formats.

110 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 1988

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About the author

David Thorpe

17 books11 followers
David is a novelist, comics writer, environmental writer, journalist and consultant, and editor. He is the winner of the 2006 HarperCollins/Saga Magazine contest to find a major new children's writer with his novel Hybrids, published in 2007. In March 2008 it also won the Lewisham Schools Book Award.

"Essential reading for the cyberspace generation."

David runs his own media company, Cyberium (a marriage of delirium and cybernetics)! He lives in beautiful Wales but was born in Robin Hood country - Nottingham. He is married to musician and composer Helen Adam.

His career includes tv and film scriptwriting, interactive scriptwriting. And being the only person in the world (probably) to hold a degree in Dada and Surrealism!

David is the author of Doc Chaos, the comics, tv scripts and novella, and has written many comics and cartoon strips such as Captain Britain, Public Servants and Managing Hell.

He was also a co-founder and committee member of the London Screenwriters Workshop, and co-wrote The Fastest Forward for Comic Relief, a feature film starring Jerry Hall.

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for David Thorpe.
Author 17 books11 followers
August 21, 2012
I am the author. Naturally, I think it's great. But you decide!
1 review
September 25, 2019
A long, long, long time ago, back when I was in high school during the Reagan years, a nuclear power plant exploded in what is now Ukraine, Chernobyl. It was a massive, life changing event. Canned goods, parents putting their kids on iodine pills, cattle had to stay indoors. The nuclear fallout, the actual cloud containing the radioactive toxins, spread all over North-Western Europe, including Amsterdam, the Netherlands where I lived. I was 16 then. I recall my mom sending me to the store to go out and 'buy some fresh cauliflower'. I remember standing there in the store, staring at all the crops of cauliflower and opting for canned goods instead. My mom wasn't too pleased.

I used to frequent a store in Amsterdam called: "The American Book Center" (ABC). They'd have cheap English languaged books and as a student/schoolkid I'd get a 10% discount. The store was quite popular (also for tourists) so they also had a coffeebar and a "comic section" where you could find "Watchmen" and "The Dark Knight Returns" in gorgeous high-quality hardcover English copies. They imported their own books from the US and UK. A couple of yrs after the Chernobyl disaster I was browsing the comic section and that's where I found... Doc Chaos.

Doc Chaos is an absolutely FANTASTIC work of art. An instant cult classic. It's a novel with artwork thrown in, sort of a graphic novel-lite if you will. Doc Chaos is a fictional character. He represents "science" run amok. He IS 'science', he is living radioactivity. He just wants to be set free. Thankfully the engineers at Chernobyl did just that. The book takes us through the disaster in Ukraine in 1986 in a unique way. The style of writing is like a William Burroughs-esque living nightmare of this beast that wants to be set free, wants to contaminate our world, this beast we simply cannot control.

I was so impressed with the book that I added it to my reading list. As I was graduating high-school (w/ Latin and Greek, the highest level), we were obligated to deliver (for our all our language courses, German, French, Spanish, Dutch and English) a reading list consisting of 10-12 books. In total we had to gather 20 "points". The point system left something to be desired since it was based on number of pages. So a 300 page dumb book, will get you 3 points. A 200 page dumb book will get you 2 points. And a very clever, creative and unique book like "Doc Chaos" will get you a mere 1 point, since it's under 200 pages :(

Teachers have to "approve" your reading list. "Doc Chaos" was refused. Needless to say I objected. Why is this fantastic book prohibited? Are you people insane? My English teachers were quite clear: The book contains pictures, artwork, so its a comic book, not a real book. I was quite offended and took my case to the principal and board of the school. They held a formal hearing and everything. The entire English faculty was there. "It's under 200 pages, it contains pictures, so no, not allowed". I calmly listened to their nonsense for a bit and then asked: Has anybody actually read this book? Turns out.... nobody did :)

The principal and board then asked the English faculty: Why didn't you read this book? (Now this is before Internet, 1988-1989, so...) "Well we do not know where he got it and we never heard of it". I explained where I got the book, but alas, after numerous phonecalls with the American Book Center, no copies were available, they'd have to import more copies but those would arrive too late for my final (diploma) oral English exams. I then offered to loan my copy to the school who used a regular copy-machine to make several copies of the book. (And yes, that's technically "piracy"). English staff then read the book and quite quickly came to the following conclusion:

Doc Chaos is an intellectual and creative tour-de-force. We're quite pleased that this student has taken a liking to such challenging material.

Not only was the book allowed on my reading list... I got 3 points for it, even though it was well under 300 pages.

As far as I am aware... after so many years, Doc Chaos is still the only graphic novel / artwork that deals with the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear accident in human history.

Now some 30 yrs later, this rare and obscure little book has become a true cult classic.

I encourage everybody to read it. I give it 5 stars.

... And 3 points :)
Profile Image for S.I. Hayes.
Author 83 books396 followers
August 23, 2012
Recently I had the pleasure of reading Doc Chaos: The Chernobyl Effect and The Last Laugh from Author David Thorpe David Thorpe .

Set during the Cold War, this Satire follows the exploits of the Doctor as he explores the road to bliss.

In the tradition of David Copperfield, comes the story of Doc Chaos. He is as he boasts ‘Pure Science made flesh’; often falling into narcissistic over reaching rants, but without them, this character would not stand up to his own claims. The fact that a medical dictionary would be a useful companion makes me feel as if the Doc has in fact, earned his degree. He is morally corrupt, sadistic and a wee bit twisted, and yet, there is a truthfulness you have to respect. If only all were so forthcoming in their thoughts!

Doc Chao's ramblings of madness while comical also make you remember what failure can bring out of us, how despairingly desperate we can become when we are starved for what we all need. The shaking, tumultuous, and overpowering feeling that can only be found when flesh meets flesh, at the heart of the tale is a love story, told by the only one the Doc has ever truly loved. Himself.
What are the lengths in which he goes to fulfill this love? You’ll have to read to find out.

For a more extensive review on this work including a short Interview with the Author come over to to my blog @ http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_...
Profile Image for Katherine Rochholz.
Author 17 books93 followers
August 22, 2012
Wow, what can I say? I was just kind of floating around looking for something different to read, and I saw a post asking if people would like a ecopy to review this work from the author. So I took the chance. And I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was not really 100% expecting to, because it is different from what I write, from what I read, but this really caught my attention and dragged me and and would not let go. It has been a long time since I found something that truly different from my norm that grabbed me and kept me entertained. Nothing I can say can prepare you for this book other than you will enjoy it. I cannot begin to compare this to other works. This piece is unique and of its own. You will not be disappointed in this book.
Profile Image for Loki.
1,243 reviews9 followers
July 4, 2015
Batshit crazy parable about the dangers of nuclear power, written in 1980's England - and despite the fact that Mrs Empty isn't mentioned once by name, there's no mistaking it. Somewhat dated as a cautionary tale now, although as Fukushima and other places demonstrate, not dated enough.
Profile Image for Ari.
27 reviews
May 7, 2013
One of my all time favourite books. I've already lost two of these because I've given them to my friends to read and they've never given them back.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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